Another strong editorial
against Initiative 933 from a writer from Clark County in Washington State.
Looking for a property mess in Washington state? Then vote "yes" on Initiative 933 on Nov. 7. The property rights initiative qualified for the general election ballot last week.
Built on the skeleton of Oregon's chaotic Measure 37, it would force government to compensate land owners for laws that lower property values, or waive the rules altogether. Passage would be especially damaging for heavily urbanized Clark County, where it would remove zoning protection when rules "damage the use or value" of private property.
Expect an asphalt plant to operate at Brush Prairie and gravel mining to resume in the East Fork of the Lewis River. Applied to an intensely populated area such as ours, I-933 is pure evil.
Newspapers across the area are waking up to the need to inform voters about Initiative 933 before the rhetoric of professional campaigners starts playing on rowdy populist themes in the weeks before the election. Appropriately, the newsweekly the Stranger
from Seattle is helping with a How To Guide
on how to defeat Initaive 933 that says the same thing:
The anti-I-933 campaign is trying not to make the same "cerebral" mistake [as in Oregon] and is instead focusing on easy-to-understand, practical reasons for land regulation. "We're just talking about the outcome," says Aaron Toso, one of eight full-time staffers on the No on 933 committee, "Traffic is something that's a real consequence people can connect with." Toso is right about going specific, but "traffic" and "farmland" are not specific enough. Indeed, traffic might seem like a non sequitur to voters who don't make the fairly sophisticated mental leap from opening the door to backyard gravel mines and farmland subdivisions to the consequential increase in traffic.
However, it's not impossible for the liberals to pull out an underdog win against a popular conservative measure. Last year's Initiative 912 gas-tax repeal polled at 58 percent approval before a very targeted campaign hit on specific issues in each local area and got voters to hop the fence. Anti-933 should learn from that success and ditch its broad and tangential message about "Traffic!" and talk about the possibility of a gravel mine in your neighborhood.
Gravel mines in your neighborhood! Gravel mines!
(Learn more about I-933.)